Sports have always provided metaphors for business.
This is especially true for “team” loving managers who like to point out how “team” is spelled (Thanks… I was aware there’s no “I”. But did you know that if you jumble things up and get a little creative, you can find a “me” in there?)
Anyway, one of my favorite business observations just played out in a big way in the sports world. And that’s the fact that nobody cares what you did, or how good you used to be.
I’m not a big soccer fan, but I do know who Landon Donovan is. For those who follow less soccer than I do, he’s probably the best US player ever, and was a star in the last few World Cups. And he was left off the US team this year.
This might be unremarkable if he was 40, and adding him was a mercy-type thing. But he’s 32, and still a solid player. Yes, he probably can’t quite run like he did when he was 24, but this wasn’t a feeble guy – nobody expected him to be left off the team. But the coach apparently thought that someone else – someone younger and fitter – would be a better choice.
“What have you done for me lately?” indeed.
Personally, as a sports fan, I say experience counts. I’d wager that his steady “I’ve been here before” demeanor couldn’t hurt. And again, the dude was only 32.
But that doesn’t change that fact that this is the way things are sometimes. In sports, and in business. If you want to succeed in business, you have to be on all the time. Because nobody cares about how good you were, or what you did in 2008.